Theme John Steinbacks Of Mice And Men Essay, Research Paper
Dreams are a train of thought or images passing through ones mind. Of mice and men s two main themes consist of dreams and pipe dreams. Dreams can lead to problems, success, or neither. Dreams can also lead to new dreams as well. Some individuals can carry out their dreams, others cannot. Dreams involve commitment and one can never achieve it if you re not dedicated in following through. This goes with just about any goal or dream. Each individual character has different and specific pipe dreams. These pipe dreams help to go more in depth in understanding each individual character. The pipe dreams shape the characters behavior and affect the way the character makes his/her decisions. Throughout the story, Of Mice and Men, focus a lot on pipe dreams. The title of the book relates to Burns poem when it states:
But, Mousie, thou art no thy lane
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes o mice an men
Gang aft a gley
An lea e us nought but grief an pain
For promised joy
This also states that others encounter problems as well when they look into the future and try to make plans. Others as well, find that their planning might be futile and fruitless as time goes on.
George and Lennie both fit into the category of wanting to carry out their dreams and be different than everyone else by taking care and looking out for one another. Although, many of their individual pipe dreams followed a different view, but there were still some in which they shared. George was the base of his and Lennies friendship and loyalty. He was the root or leader so to speak. George would be the one who would keep things going on properly and more in order, to an extent. George had to be the base since Lennie was not strong enough. Proof of this is when he stated:
If George don t want me, I ll go away. I ll go away. (Page 110)
Lennies pipe dreams were more selfish and related to himself rather than Georges. Lennie wished for rabbits, and furry creatures to satisfy his urges. This showed his lack of control, intelligence, and his liking towards soft things. George and Lennie did share their goal about the farm and both wanting to succeed at it. They also knew that they would be different from the others because they had each other to rely on. Their dream of the farm in the future and the pipe dreams symbolized their security. Even though problems arose between George and Lennie, George had to always be the leader and this helped preserve both of their hope. Still, George s loneliness doesn t really begin until the end.
Candy s loneliness is similar to Georges loneliness at the end of the book because of their relationship to their close companions is lost. Candy s close companion is his dog and Georges is Lennie. Both relationships involved loyalty and friendship. Candy is extremely attached to his dog, the way Lennie was attached to George. A part of Candy dies when his dog is put down.
Candy looked a long time at Slim to try to find some reversal. And Slim gave him none. At last Candy said softly and hopelessly, Awright-take im. (Page 52)
Candy s dreams shifted in the story when his dog dies and he suddenly becomes interested when George gives him the idea to come and start a ranch with him and Lennie. It almost seemed as if Candy had no reason to go on after his dog died. Having new dreams arise to him made him look ahead and kept him more interested in life.
Curley s wife had a similar form of loneliness as Candy s when his dog was put down. Curley s wife didn t feel as if she had anything to live for. She seemed to have raised nothing but trouble and temptation between the men. Curley s wife didn t lose all that much in the end because she had nothing ahead of her, nothing to look forward to, and she was effected and suffering with her dreams and loneliness.
I get lonely, she said. You can talk. (Page 95)
Even her marriage was admitted by the author as a mistake. Curley, on the other hand, was the opposite and took his problems using anger and frustration.
By Christ, he s gotta talk when he s spoke to. What the hell are you settin us into it for? (Page 28)
Curley is more antagonistic and it seems he s angry when his own thoughts or dreams aren t happening the way it wants it to. Basically, he gets angry when he doesn t get his way.
Crooks dreams on the other hand, are not selfish. He just wants to fit in with everyone else. Crooks dreams are more involved in receiving self-respect, and fairness from the rest. He s different from everyone else on the ranch and because of this, he is singled out and not treated the same due to his race and color. An example of this is stated:
I ain t wanted in the bunk house, you ain t wanted in my room. (Page 75)
The three main themes in the novel are similar in many different ways. All the different dreams and pipe dreams of the characters reflected their behaviors and decisions throughout the story. Dreams are similar to pipe dreams just by the fact that the goals of a character reflect on his/her decisions and attitudes towards problems or issues. George s life was most changed by the end of the story because of the fact that he is now finally starting to really be alone. It s somewhat ironic. Throughout the story, all the characters different types of loneliness is described with George and Lennie being one of the prime examples. However, in the end, George is back at square one, maybe even behind square one since Lennie is gone, and now he doesn t have a companion to take care of him, help him get through problems or anything. George killing Lennie at the ending of the story was more proper because it at least gave Lennie the decency to die with some peace, loyalty, happiness, reassurance, and comfort rather than by the workers in which Lennie would have been scared, confused, and killed with no dignity. In respect to Burns poem, mice are the individuals that dream their dreams but men actually carry out their dreams.